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Poster: hfeld@ids2.idsonline.com (Harold Feld)

Oh yes, for any who are interested, this was my poem from Emerald Joust.

You see the wicked reap a rich reward
And see the righteous suffer boundless pain.
King Arthur, Roland, what does yet remain
Of chivalry?  What's honor but a word
Veiling vainglory, valor but the sword
HAmmering the helpless time and time again?
My friend, give up your Dream,  your poor insane
Ideals long lost, too dead to be restored.
Zounds!  I declare I shall stay staunchly true,
Repenting not my Dream.  Though others jeer
And take me for a fool, I will stand fast.
Camelot still shall live in all I do;
Honor and valor will my heart hold dear.
In me, at least, still lives the spirit of the past.


The poem is in the form of a "Petrarchan sonnet."  As the name implies, it
is a late medieval/ early Renaissance form (depending on how you count),
having its origins in the late 13th Century.  The form is iambic pentameter
with a rhyme-scheme of abbaabba (the octet) cdecde (the sextet).  In the
classic form (as has been attempted here) the octet sets up a question or
proposition which is then answered (or, in this case, rejected) by the
sextet.  Furthermore, the first two and last two lines of the octet set a
frame around the center lines, so that it can be read: ab baab ba  cdecde.
The Petrarchan sonnet was imported into English and used by such authors as
Chaucer, Spencer, and Wyatt.  Spencer modified the form to create the
Spencerain sonnet (abab bcbc cdcd ee), which was further modified into the
Shakespearian sonnet (abab cdcd efef gg).

This poem contains two period ornamentations.  The first is the alphabetic
acrostic spelling the name of the author.  This device is extremely popular
with Hebrew poets (including Immanuel of Rome, who wrote Petrarchan
sonnets).  I have cheated a bit, since my name (Yaakov HaMizrachi) has too
many letters.  I justified the actual acrostic (YAKOV H(a)MIZRACHI) on the
grounds that the double A and the HA actually represent one Hebrew letter
rather than two (Ain and Hey respectively).

The second ornamentation is ending the poem in an alexandrine, a line of 12
syllables.  The alexandrine goes back to the 12th Century as a poetic
device.  I have not, however, seen any actual use of it to end a period
Petrarchan sonnet.

SOURCE: Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Headings: Sonnet,
Acrostic, Alexandrine).

Harold Feld
Yaakov HaMizrachi

"Do not ask 'Why are these days not as good as the days of old?' This
question is not prompted by wisdom." -Eccl.

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